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In Defence of David de Gea

David de Gea may not understand much English, but when he awoke on Monday morning, he would have known why he was the talking point on the back page of most English newspapers.

Manchester United fans will be hoping that their new young goalkeeper …

David de Gea may not understand much English, but when he awoke on Monday morning, he would have known why he was the talking point on the back page of most English newspapers.

Manchester United fans will be hoping that their new young goalkeeper did not bother looking at the extremely radical, over the top reactions that were plastered in several papers, because they will have done nothing for his currently fragile confidence.

De Gea knows well enough that his mistake against West Brom which allowed a weak Shane Long shot to crawl underneath his flailing arms, was not acceptable for a Manchester United goalkeeper. However, he will also understand that one mild mistake in only his first competitive game in a completely new country, where he knows little about the language nor the culture, does not mean that he is a “flop,” like some have already irrationally labelled him.

Of course, Manchester United fans will have been expecting a lot more from an £18.5 million signing, but those impatient and narrow minded enough to think that Sir Alex Ferguson and his back room staff didn’t expect any mistakes in his first year in England will have to rethink their odd logic.

Those fans calling for De Gea’s sale or release, one competitive game into his short Manchester United career are probably the same people who labelled Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic flops in their first season in England. Just a quick look at some Manchester United fans reactions to the signing of Vidic back in 2006 shows that some “expert fans” painfully called the Serbian a “waste of money” and “overrated.” Five years later, he is a regular in the teams of the year, playing his part in a solid back line for United.

In fact, it’s interesting to read about Vidic’s struggles when he first started with United. “It was very hard for me,” he said, and coming from a completely different country, speaking a different language, “it was difficult for me to communicate.” Vidic continued:

“I was… trying to acclimatise to a different style of football and culture. Everything was thrown at me at once. And on top of that I was very aware that the fans were asking, ‘Who is this player?’ I was unknown and people wanted to see what they were getting for £7m. I was very aware I was under the spotlight.”

One can imagine a parallel situation with David de Gea. His large transfer fee means he is the second most expensive goalkeeper in the history of football, and he has a big job in trying to prove his worth because of it. People will, and already have begun to question his ability, like people did with Vidic, but everyone must understand that it takes longer for some footballers to become comfortable with their surroundings than others.

Sir Alex Ferguson said after De Gea’s mistake at West Brom that it was almost like a “welcome to English football.” It is also a harsh welcome to the English media, who judge harshly immediately, as well as many of the English public who enjoy raising impossible expectations, and follow the media’s lead in attempting to crush careers with an overbearing eye for anything not perfection. Just look at the English national team.

Patience is so important in such a young person, with such a large amount of potential. I’m not saying he should be immune from criticism, but fans and pundits need to be patient. Sir Alex knows David de Gea has quality so let’s just take a step back, put everything into perspective, and give him a chance.

Submitted by DBSFootball




  1. Henry Nicks Kizito

    August 17, 2011 at 9:55 am

    De Gea is still new to the English game, still coping with his new life in England, learning the language, still feeling the weight of his hefty transfer fee on his shoulders, still very young (at 20), still light to command a strong physical presence & still shackled by Van Der Sar’s big shoes … You would be really very unrealistic to expect 100% concentration from him, 100% shot stopping, 100% physical impact. We all remember how the likes of Vidic, Evra & even Shmicheal struggled in the mornings of their United careers. De Gea will soon find his feet & silence his doubters… And remember,he has made some pretty descent saves … The goal it’self was partially a responsibility of Chris Smalling, who as a wing back allowed long to cut inside instead of pushing him towards the corner line. De Gea was taken by surprise, as he expected enough cover on the left, so he concentrated on his right, leaving a longer distance on the left, which he couldn’t clear with a dive! … Pretty basic principles! All new players need time to settle into the team, problem with the goal keeper is that a single mistake is a goal. And Look at the first goal that Foster conceded today, look at the first goal that Hart conceded last Sunday … Is there a great difference? Remember Van Der Sar … his goal keeping haulers, two of the three goals he conceded in the Champions League final … he should have done better . Look at Manuel Neuer … the goals he conceded at Old Trafford… Why do you judge De Gea by just a few games? All the best goal keepers have their mistakes … the most important thing is to remain confident. To me, De Gea looks confident enough for a 20 year old debutant from a different league. I’m sure he will do well for United

  2. Pingback: It may not be glee for David De Gea at Manchester United – | Manchester United

  3. Kev

    August 17, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    He is a great keeper. I have complete faith in him.
    His mistakes have been simply down to nerves, and are nothin compared to the juggling antics of another Spanish keeper in the prem, who some people rate highly.
    Thankfully his mistakes haven’t cost us. He definetly shouldn’t be dropped.
    The stretford end needs to get completely behind him. Support him and make him feel welcome.
    I don’t care how much he earns. He’s a kid and will be feeling awful.

  4. Dan

    August 18, 2011 at 4:17 am

    He’s only 20 for God’s sake! He must be given time to settle in and grow. I personally don’t care if he keeps making mistakes for the next two seasons as long as he shows improvement little by little. I guess we’ve been spoiled by Van der Sar, with the only recent major blunder by him that I can remember being the one against West Brom at Old Trafford. Schmeichel used to make mistakes even at 36, so to expect De Gea to not make them would be unfair.

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